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Author Topic: Full body sessions vs Splits?  (Read 15609 times)
Nic
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« on: December 14, 2016, 01:47:13 PM »

After reading Ben H's interview (and journal), and listening to a few podcasts where the guest was talking about full-body sessions, I wondered..

How many people here use a full-body approach? Or have done in the past?

How do you structure it? How many days per week/days off between sessions?

Do you have set exercises, do you "cycle" exercises, or do you just make sure you do (say) 1 x squat, 1 x deadlift, 1 x chest push, 1 x overhead press, 1 x vertical pull, 1 x row?

I have never considered full body before, always doing some kind of body part split or at least "push" and "pull".

But I'm hearing much more about this approach... keen to see what you lot think?
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SCOTTGALTON
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 02:08:01 PM »

Your not alone in thinking about full body or at leat upper and lower split. I get that if you hit a muscle more often that in theory you have opportunity to have more stimulus. I would think it needs a fair bit of thinking about in terms of exercise selection. I'd not be able to deadlift Monday and then squat Wednesday for example.
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SuperplexSteve
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 03:00:21 PM »

I remember when my job involved a lot of travelling, I did a full body workout 2-3 times per week, including back squat, deadlifts, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell press, dips and pull-ups as the staples.  I made some good strength gains on this programme but my actual all-round muscular development was lacking - I had a very bottom-heavy look, which I've been trying to address for the past couple of years.  I wasn't thinking carefully enough about exercise selection.

I'm also intrigued about this approach and I may give it another go in the future.  One of my goals is to achieve a 3x bodyweight deadlift, and I think the training frequency will help.  At the moment, I have a 3-day legs, push, pull split, which I'm quite enjoying.  I really like annihilating a muscle group, but of course the downside to that is more recovery time.
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Nic
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 06:58:27 PM »

Well, today I did

- front squats
- dumbell SLDL
- plate loaded pull down (underhand)
- t-bar row (overhand)
- incline dumbell chest press
- dumbell shoulder press

Not a clue what I'll do tomorrow?! I guess full body folk always have at least 1 if not 2 days between sessions?

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Rossdog
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 07:12:19 PM »

Sunday hamstrings and calves
Monday chest
Tuesday back
Wednesday shoulders
Thursday quads and calves
Friday arms
Saturday rest

The old faithful split. There or thereabouts. I have to train 6 days per week, couldnt deal with only going to the gym 2-4 times.


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Nic
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 07:18:05 PM »

I have to train 6 days per week, couldnt deal with only going to the gym 2-4 times.


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This is my problem Lew, I don't think I could cope with training 2/3 times a week. 4 might be OK at a push! I really like volume and frequency.

 Huh Are full-body sessions and 5-6/week training mutually exclusive? Huh
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Rossdog
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 07:51:36 PM »

People get too caught up in listening to all these 'gurus' chatting all day about , 'frequency' and what's 'optimal' the way u will make the most gains is by training the way u enjoy to train, and by keep mixing it up. I know for a fact I could not enter a gym and do 5x5 squat 5 mins rest between and then do a couple of what they call 'accessory' exercises! I'll be in the gym everyday busting my balls for a an hour n half to a couple of hours no doubt about that !!


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Glen Danbury
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 08:24:31 PM »

think your question will result in a variety of answers as jist like splits you could do it a variety of ways.

I love full body training and theres plenty of variations in how you could do it.

I always tend to think of movements rather than muscles and focus on the primal movement patterns

*squat
*hip hinge
*single leg/lunge
*push
*pull
*rotation/antirotation

you could have it that you vary movements each session or even vary loading each session

for those who I've given full body programs in the past I have given a slight modified program which combines the two to a degree

session 1 - movement for each primal pattern plus two or three accessory exercises/single joint for squat
session 2 - same as above but accessories for push
session 3 - same as above but accessories for hip hinge
session 4 - same as above but accessories for pull

plenty of variation but still allows that pump chase

personally I dont get how someone can ho in and spend a whole session working on arms - wpuld feel I've wasted an hour

at the end of the day a program is only as good as how much it motivates you and how long you stick with it. as long as you make progress over time with workloads how you achieve it is somewhat irrelevant IMO

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Badger
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 08:45:11 PM »

You have to do what floats your boat.. there will always be disagreement on what works best but at the end of the day adherence comes from enjoying it.

I like about 5 days a week, 3 days of heavy barbell work and 2 days more isolation based work. I find this gives me what I want from my training and also gives me room to push intensity hard.

Pretty much everything works, it's just if it works for you that decides whether to go with it. I love training so do it more often and recover ok from it but there are plenty of low frequency guys who are getting what they want from it in terms of performance/growth.

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DDG
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 11:08:14 PM »

I've used full-body workouts but didn't feel they brought the best out of my physique. I couldn't employ enough volume anywhere to achieve the 'look' I was after. As a sprinter this is how I used to train always. It was functional and effective. However, sculpting a physique requires more specialised work even if this relies almost exclusively on relatively few, basic movements.

For me, the best compromise was upper/lower body splits and in my prime this is all I used for contest preparation. It was very effective and allowed me to train twice in three days resting a day before repeating the cycle. This meant everything got hit twice weekly. On the run up to a contest I'd sometimes train with higher frequency, upper, lower, upper, lower without a break for as long as I could last before taking a day off. Again, this used to pull me in very quickly.

With age, I've found I can no longer sustain workouts that take me above 35-40 sets and prefer to train often but in shorter bursts, typically no longer than 30 minutes per session and more often only 25 minutes duration. This allows me to recover, preserve tissue and still train everything twice weekly, albeit using different combinations of movements to stimulate all areas twice. Without question there's a big difference between training at, say, 19 years, 29 years, 36 years and 46 years of age. I try to make sensible adjustments to keep everything in order without breaking my body.
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ben-howard
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 08:27:39 AM »

I find when setting up a full body workout - 3 days per week suits best, focusing on a squat, push and pull each session with a couple of isolation exercises after , I personally can't recover from more than 3 of these sessions weekly and it's a great way to build on the basic lifts and can be geared to more advanced lifters too by undulating the rep ranges, exercises, intensity etc

However I think Rossi is spot on when it comes to enjoying the training, I did full body workouts for a period as they suited me at the time, and I enjoyed the basic exercises , get in, get out done

This can get pretty boring for a lot of people so spicing the programme up is a better option

I was going to dive back into full body workouts after this years season was over but have fell into a great "middle of the road" approach with upper-lower training, getting the benefit of basic lifts and frequency with a little more room for bodybuilding specific exercises I need and flexibility in the routine too (I can train 2 days in a row if needs be) and doesn't impact my recovery - I used this routine before and worked very well! I shall continue

Upper+ HIIT
Off
Lower + mobility& flexibility
Off
Repeat



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Glen Danbury
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 06:21:27 PM »

Two points on this

success leaves clues and would estimate the majority of those who have achieved high levels probably follow a more traditional split

secondly it always gets me those who follow more of a split tend to get closer to full body training if they include large mulit joint movements

are deadlifts hamstring, quad,lower back or upperback work.

same as cleanand presses - shoulder, upperback, or hip work?
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egg-custard
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 11:52:26 AM »

if doing full body workouts

should you really include minor muscle group training to

eg wrist curls,calf raises, and other exrcises that compounds don't really hit hard..?
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Monbeef
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 08:55:58 PM »

I have only read this halfway down because my toilet session is coming to an end and I wanted to comment...

I also have to train too frequently to do full body. Just can't help myself. But I don't see a problem with splitting it slightly and training push and pull or upper and lower 2-3 times a week each.

In fact, I rate frequent stimulus over infrequent annihilation. As I always say 1x7=7 but 2x5=10. Slightly less growth from stimulation only but with half the recovery time resulting in greater response overall (opinion, not science that I know of).

I personally like to split sessions by lifts rather than bodyparts in scenarios like that.

I wouldn't ever bother with wrist curls, eggie. Forearms tend to lag due to the brachiradialis at the elbow joint so reverse curls are needed, and as grip improves with the rising weight of normal compound lifts, so will forearms.

Calves need work if the optimum physique is to be achieved but they will be worked in deep squats anyway.
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Damon Eaton
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 01:50:27 PM »

I have tried every variation full body, upper/lower, push/pull/legs and body part splits.

The thing I notice about full body is obviously you have to take the next day off which sucks I like to train as much as possible. Also it is hard to fit everything in and by the last exercise you dont have the same intensity as the first. If I was an athlete in another sport or strapped for time I would do full body but as Im only interested in physique and a bit of strength I don't like it.

I'm a lot like Rossdog. I like loads of volume to train as often as possible and to get a pump not think too much but just go in hard and smash it until I feel done. Body part splits are great for this and I have had the most success this way perhaps its because I enjoy it perhaps its because its optimal for my body type or perhaps its just optimal because I enjoy it.
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